Metrograph, a cinema devoted to independent films, opened in March in Manhattan. It’s been full ever since then. In any case, it couldn’t be any other way for its creator, Alexander Olch. Fashion designer, film maker and artistic director, this renaissance man resolved to surround himself with the best in the business to occupy 7 Ludlow Street on the historic Lower East Side. A choice setting with a raw minimalist style that’s resolutely New York in which Tarajia evolved. This specialist in gastronomy is Alexander’s chosen partner to whom he has entrusted the reins of the establishment’s restaurant: Metrograph Comissary. A short menu, stylish furniture and an atmosphere designed in the spirit of the big film studios are united in this simple, but amazing space. A guiding force that is also found in the two bars and the bookshop. Because Metrograph isn’t the go-to place for nothing. Just like the surprising and ultra cutting-edge programming, the works on offer are a delight to our curious souls. Collector’s editions of the very French Cahiers du Cinéma or exclusive biographies of iconic film makers, it’s all there. A complete experience dedicated to cinephiles – the 35 mm format is the team’s favourite – and lovers of culture alike. New York at last has the cinema it deserves.
The Metrograph, 7 Ludlow St – New York 10002
Alex, could you please introduce yourself and tell us what is your role at the Metrograph?
What is the concept of the Metrograph?
To extend the magic of cinema outside the rectangle of the screen.
How did you choose the films and documentaries displayed?
I chose Jake Perlin – my dear friend, who distributed my film The Windmill Movie in the USA. He is now the Artistic Director of Metrograph, and the man responsible for the magic on the screen.
What is your favorite kind of films?
That is very hard to say! I love great films – all the better to find them in unexpected places. One of the most fun parts of Metrograph is Jake showing films which I haven’t seen before. There is still so much to see and learn.
Why « Metrograph »? What does it mean?
I made it up!
Who did the decorating?
I am the Chief Creative and I designed the space and interiors. Decoration was assisted by Nil Erbil. Typography and graphic designed by Anna Karlin Studio.
Why did you bring in Tarajia to your Metrograph team?
Tarajia has always impressed me for her aesthetic both specifically about food, but also the atmosphere, ambiance, and tone around dining. She has been a wonderful part of the Metrograph team.
Tarajia, could you please present you?
I am a food writer, and a restaurant consultant.
How did you dipatched the roles with your partner in business?
Alex is an old friend of mine. He knows a lot about film and fashion, but until recently, not all that much about restaurants. I grew up in restaurants. My family is in the food and wine business and every conversation was either about what we just ate or are about to eat or while we are eating. I see restaurants as living breathing things and I like to bring them to life. It’s been an incredible project.
What is the concept of the Metrograph Commissary?
The Metrograph Commissary is named for the restaurants on old Hollywood studio lots in the 1920s through 1950s, where stars like Clark Gable and Carole Lombard dined beside gaffers and the guys building the set. It’s egalitarian but like all things at Metrograph, has a sense of occasion.
Credits : Constance Gennari @thesocialitefamily